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Behind The Boots – Gideon van Wyk

Gideon van Wyk is a force to be reckoned with on the field, and definitely an up and coming rugby player to keep your eyes on. This youngster was selected to play for South Africa’s Under 18 team where he started at Number 8 and impressed there, scoring multiple tries against the likes of England, Argentina and Wales.

Paarl Boys alumni, Gideon van Wyk has since settled down in the heart of Bloemfontein, applying his trade at the Shimlas Young Guns at position 7/8.

We caught up with Gideon and got to know the man ‘behind the boots‘ and this is what he had to say…

What is one goal you hope to achieve this year?I really hope to get the chance to play 0/21 Currie Cup for the Cheetahs. I am incredibly determined and put my heart and soul into everything I do.

How do you maintain healthy relationships with your friends, family and your partner with such an in-demand and busy schedule? I usually use my off time in the evenings or throughout the day to keep my friends and family posted with what is going on in my life and they will also keep me up to date with theirs. Communication is key when you have such a busy schedule.

What do you want to be remembered for in the rugby industry one day? The rugby player that was humble and willing to always give his best for the team.

Besides rugby, what other hobbies do you enjoy? I really enjoy outdoor activities like fishing and I collect different types of bonsai trees.

Who is one teammate that you look up to and draw inspiration from, and why? Jacques-Lois du Toit. He is a very humble guy and he is a big Christian which I respect and admire.

Bucket list travel destination and why? Egypt – It is one of the most historical places in the world, and always been a place I’d love to explore.

Who has played an important part in your career thus far and why? Uncle Johnny van Niekerk from Paarl Boys High, he helped me through some difficult times in my rugby career and always kept me positive and grounded. Coach Peter Engledow as well, he taught me to always enjoy my rugby and he brought a different side of myself out of me on the field. Lastly, I just want to thank my Mom for playing such an important role in my career. She puts her life aside to support me and makes sure she attends every single one of my games. After every game she always offers me the best advice and helps me better my game by telling me what I should work on and what I did well, and for that I am truly grateful.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given to yourself 5 years ago? To stay positive and keep working all the way no matter what life throws at you, and to ensure you have the right friends and support system around you. “You can be grinding for 4 years with no results, and on the 5th year become the biggest thing on the planet. The power of never giving up is real.” – a quote I live by.

How do you remain humble and grounded in an industry that is so publicised? The most difficult task to do in this industry is probably to stay humble. I’ve learned in the past that you mustn’t take anything for granted and appreciate every opportunity you get.

What don’t people know about you? I really enjoy cooking and making different types of food!

Quick Facts:

What is your favourite cheat meal or snack: Burger King
My shoe size is a:12
Favourite lifestyle brand: PUMA
If I were to be an animal I would be a: Lion
Fave book of all time: The Jersey (The Secret Behind The World’s Most Successful Team)
Song from my youth that I can’t help but bust a move to is: Losing It (Fisher)
Teammate always pulling pranks is: Jacques-Lois du Toit
Teammate who always offers the best advice is: Kian Meaden
Best on-tour memory: Easter weekend 2019 – Using rugby clothes and socks to dress up like Easter bunnies and surprising the whole St John’s college by jumping around giving people Easter eggs.

Instagram Handle: @gideonvwyk_8

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